On June 28, the Supreme Court held the ACA is constitutional.
In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts explained that the individual mandate, which requires that nearly every individual purchase health insurance or face a penalty, is a valid exercise of Congress’s power to lay and collect taxes. The expansion of Medicaid, in turn, is a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power, but the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government may not withdraw all existing Medicaid funding from states that determine not to participate in the expansion, as the ACA would have required.
Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito dissented, and would have struck down the entire ACA.
Ropes & Gray will provide a fuller analysis of the Court’s opinions shortly, and will continue to assess the impact of this decision – and will post additional materials and analysis – in the coming days.